Ruaridh Cunningham joins Jess Stone on the Slovenian Unior Tools Team for 2013.
Jess, who rode for the team last year, will be joined by 2007 Junior World Champ Ruaridh Cunningham as well as Žiga Pandur and fast junior rider Jure Žabjek for the 2013 downhill race season.
Meanwhile Nejc Rutar will focus on the Enduro events and new signing Tanja Žakelj will race the XC circuit.
The downhill weapon of choice will be the Trek Session 9.9 frame with RockShox suspension, SRAM drivetrain, Avid brakes, Bontrager wheels and Schwalbe tires. All riders will also have Trek Slash for enduro events, while Tanja’s rig is the brand new Trek Superfly SL 29er with SRAM XX components.
On another note…if you get excited by the sight of a forge or a power hammer like me then there’s some interesting facts and history about Unior Tools over on their webber.
Here’s a look at the team:
Having ridden a Trek last year as a privateer, the step up to the Unior Tools Team is an amazing opportunity for me. I’m looking forward to working with the team and with their support I feel I can achieve the goals I’ve set for myself this season. They include top 20 placing overall in the World Cup and top 5 placing in BSD. // Ruaridh Cunningham
Having been to New Zealand for a while and being able to concentrate on just my riding full time is very important before the start of the new season. I feel focused and ready for a season of some good racing. I’m really looking forward to having new members onboard and being able to learn from them and ride with them this year. // Jess Stone.
Reliable and relaxed people in the team, great sponsors and blue color – for me this is a perfect combination that will help me reach my goals. I want to repeat my best results in the World Cup and World Championships, or even get higher. Generally this means constantly being among top 15 riders on the planet. // Tanja Žakelj
My wish to get into top 30 on the World Cup and World Championships gives me unlimited amounts of motivation and with the support of the team it feels more than possible. We are always serious when we need to be, but most of the time the atmosphere is relaxed and this is just what works for me. // Žiga Pandur.
2013 season will be full of new things for me. I will race enduro, new and exciting discipline for me. The team itself will also experience a lot of changes, especially with Tanja and XC on board. The whole thing inspires me and gives me motivation ahead of unknown and new territory. //Nejc Rutar
I’m really happy for this opportunity and I’ll do my best to be in top 15 on every Junior DH World Cup. Season will be long and hard, but I’m already looking forward to the last big race of 2013 – iXS European Cup in front of home crowd in Maribor. // Jure Žabjek
Cooperation with Tanja Žakelj brings new challenges for us, but also great benefits. It is no secret that Unior is rapidly growing on the bicycle tools market and additional exposure in the cross-country scene means a lot. Nejc’s decision to focus on the enduro is also very positive and as a team we will continue to give him our best support. Ruaridh, Jess and Žiga are names with large fan base and each of them will bring their share of good results and promotion for the team and our sponsors. Jure is also fast and can do a lot in the junior category. All in all we have amazing team of individuals, all capable of constant and high results, plus a team of hard working mechanics and best possible gear. We just can’t wait to get on the road! //Tine Mahkovec, Team Manager